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A Billion-Dollar Battle Over a Parking Lot at the Seaport

Zack DeZon for The New York Times

The other morning I boarded a No. 2 train to check out a parking lot at the South Street Seaport Historic District.

As New York real estate sagas go, the battle over 250 Water Street (the lot’s address) approximates the Thirty Years’ War. The site, between Pearl and Water Streets, occupies an entire, misshapen city block just inside the last architectural vestige of New York’s 18th and early 19th century mercantile waterfront.

You might ask how a landmarked oasis of quaint Americana came to include a huge surface parking lot that leaves a bizarre no-man’s land between the low-rise 19th-century storehouses lining Water to the east and the modern skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, west of Pearl.

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